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A Country for Odd Men

It was too much! The growing violence encroaching on his rural Texas territory was more than third generation sheriff Ed Tom Bell could handle. His handgun was no match for automatic weapons of drug smugglers. His department was outmanned by criminal organizations. Even the vast, open landscape weighed against him. “I feel overmatched.” he said.

Sheriff Bell isn’t real. He’s a character in the highly regarded movie No Country for Old Men. And, it’s unlikely that you are battling drug dealers like he does. Your life probably isn’t in danger. But you, too, may feel overmatched.

What parent hasn’t felt it? Knowing how to raise a child and finding the energy to do it is a challenging task. What employee (or student) doesn’t sometimes feel that the hours are too long, the job too hard for success to be possible? As citizens we are at a loss for how to solve the problems of our nation. Couples feel overmatched by their challenges and want to quit. We understand feeling overmatched.

Often, we feel that we face our battles alone. Talking about feeling overmatched, Bell says, “I always figured when I got older God would sort of come into my life somehow. He didn’t. And I don’t blame him. If I was him, I’d have the same opinion of me he does.”

Is that why we feel overmatched – because we don’t feel that we deserve God’s help? If so, we have overlooked God’s tremendous efforts to convince us otherwise.

Remember that when Jesus came into our world, it was to an unremarkable Jewish girl that he was born. It was in the home of an undistinguished blue-collar worker that he was raised. His closest circle included fishermen, a hot-headed jihadist, an outcast revenuer of questionable ethics, and a crooked accountant. He was criticized for associating with women of sleazy reputations and men known to drink too much. He had habits of physically touching people with contagious diseases and of crossing racial and social boundaries.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

If God is not in our lives it’s not because he doesn’t think much of us. It is only because we have such a low opinion of him that we don’t believe he can love us. In God’s country, there is a place for old men – and odd men, and imperfect women, and failures and misfits of every kind. A place for you!


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